What this means: Making sure ICT resources are used to full potential
Issues : A server consumes almost as much energy when used at 15% of capacity as it does at 80%. Today the average energy utilisation of servers is approximately 15% ! This is mainly due to the fact that most servers are dedicated to a single application, and have been sized to be capable of handling peaks in usage. Optimisation of IT system efficiency has now been made possible., with software solutions such as virtualisation. The potential advantages in terms of energy reduction are huge, and can reach up to 65%!
The simplest way of measuring efficiency is by the level of server activity. This is not to be taken as an absolute value to compare performance of applications against one another, as it depends on application type, server type, and also application constraints which can sometimes eliminate certain mutualisation approaches. However, when applied to each context, this enables follow-ups and monitoring of progress over time.
Greenethiquette is therefore aiming to enforce a policy of transparency for participating hosted service providers: the provider of the hosted service will be required to regularly provide its customer with detailed activity levels of physical and virtual services related to each hosted application.
Furthermore, Greenethiquette commits clients and providers of hosted services to explore the best possible solutions for improving equipment efficiency. For example, for servers with low average activity rates, virtualisation is a brilliant solution to vastly reduce environmental impact on hosted services However, opting for this type of solution is not a unilateral decision on behalf of the hosted service provider, and can have an impact on the service contract between client and provider. ==> Client and provider must therefore cooperate through Greenethiquette, assuring that eco-efficient solutions are implemented from the beginning of a project, and that the Service level agreements ensure continuous developments and improvements in eco-efficiency.
Even if there is currently no easy formal way to clearly assess environmental impact, client and provider must consider energy output as a resource requiring surveillance. Energy efficiency has become a key component of all high tech equipment, and these innovations have become vital features on the market. Consequently, new channels of improvement are regularly appearing (storage, software, programming methods etc.). Greenethiquette aims to trigger further improvements in this domain.
Today, servers can be virtualised and assigned in just-in-time mode to available physical resources. The number of servers required can often be divided by 6 or 7 if appropriate virtualisation is implemented. This commitment helps provide information on the percentage of servers used up and highlights areas for improvement.
New solutions are constantly appearing which enable IT equipment optimisation: